Wednesday, November 17, 2010

On Turning Thirteen

Hey Haddy,

You are 13 now. A blog for your birthday.

I am prompted to write tonight about my deaf son turning thirteen tomorrow. Before the sun rises he will transition into the land of teenish. I know that is not a word. It is a Mel word but it best describes how I feel tonight.

Thirteen years ago I was in a hospital overjoyed with my new sweet baby. Moments before and after many anguished trips to the hospital in not so beautiful Hollywood, a place with far to many potholes in the road and jaded nurses for a mama in labor, my son was born. To my dismay friends piled in the room and one who was a film camera operator took the opportunity to jump on my bed and shoot the photos from the best vantage point not realizing the slightest movement was a jolt to me and my baby and perhaps the privacy of a birth takes a wee moment to clear away.

So the real point I want to make is tomorrow on my son's 13th birthday 35 seats have been reserved for the interpreted night of his play. The seats are reserved for folks who will be using the interpreter.

For years I have been trying to find ways to bring the hearing and deaf worlds together but in ways he can still be deaf. In ways he can be part off not an accessory to the world. On terms that both hearing and deaf can enjoy life together. There always was a hitch or red tape.

Last year he wanted to partner with WSD for a blended play. A lot of red tape later he was able to come with his teacher for one workshop but the kids loved it. A baby step.

When WSD came to buy tickets they needed a receipt and the person who could provide that was in a meeting. Red tape. It was resolved and the tickets were purchased. The art school thanked the deaf school for their support.

It just makes sense that as he moves into the world of teen, the world of more independence this is happening. Maybe just this one night but I will take it. One night both worlds will live as one in a way that feels right. A deaf actor will enter the stage and play a deaf role. A deaf audience will enjoy the show with rehearsed interpreters. And maybe there will be red tape or a glitch but I will take it.

No pressure Haddy. Break a leg and Happy Birthday.

I  love you,



  1. Happy Birthday Haddy! Wow 13?
    lol better you than me! But my days are numbered, my boy will turn 13 in 2 1/2 years!

  2. Sweet blog. Enjoy your son and his play. Nice he gets to do what he loves on his birthday.

  3. Hey thanks! Ericka don't worry 13 is awesome just a bit more complicated.

    Don thank you! It was so perfect that he was sharing his passion on his birthday with his friends.